Psychoemotional features of the self-concept and the alexithymia of children during the period of adaptation to the foster family
The study aims to define the specific manifestations of self-concept and the alexithymia level to understand the peculiarities of personality's psychoemotional development during the children's adaptation in foster families. Peculiarities of child's self-concept manifestations were determined based on R. Burns' conceptual provisions using the «Peirce-Harris Child Self-Concept Scale» technique. Alexithymia risks were determined based on the application of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale TAS-26. The research was based on comparing the psychodiagnostic data of the children during the adaptation period in foster families and the control group of children living with biological parents. MS Excel was used to process the empirical data (Student's t-test, Pearson's r correlation analysis). It was found that during the adaptation period in foster families, the children were characterized by specific manifestations of self-concept, namely, they doubted their attractiveness, had a high level of anxiety, and were less inclined to feel happy. At the same time, the manifestations of alexithymia in children from foster families and the control group do not reach significant differences. However, a higher proportion of the children from foster families were in the risk group. It is defined that children from foster families do not show the correlation between the level of alexithymia and manifestations of self-concept, in contrast to children living with biological parents. Thus, the need for special attention to the psychoemotional sphere of child development during adaptation to foster families is proved. The prospects for further research are to expand the subgroups under study to include children at different stages of living in a foster family. The study results are practically significant for specialists who provide support to foster families and can be used to form a program of interaction with foster families during the period of adaptation.